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Archive for the ‘Self Love’ Category

We Are The Sum Of The Choices We Make

Never give up, never give up, never give up sings Gypsy Soul singer Cilette Swann.  We are truly the sum of the choices we make in life.  The song you will listen to below invites us to wake up from our slumber and ask these questions:

Do I give enough?

Do I love enough?

Do I trust enough?

Do I risk enough?

Did I ever give up on anyone?

Questions to not only ask ourselves frequently, but vibrantly, passionately,  and mindfully live in order to be able to say YES! to all but the last question!!

Addendum: “Did I allow myself to receive enough” for all of you women out there that have given until you had nothing left to live your life with….

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Finding-Voice

There was a circle of women sitting together having come to join each other in sharing what it was to walk a sacred, creatively authentic path as a woman in this world.  The small island on which this retreat was located held us within the energy of her natural beauty.  There was a leader of this group who stood before us in her power and with her unique voice.  She vibrated with confidence and a wisdom that was palatable to everyone in the room.

The present assignment was simple, or so it seemed.  Each woman was asked to share what brought her, and whether she had any expectations of the week that we would share together.  I immediately felt the fear of being transparent within this circle of women.  It was a full body charge running from the top of my head all the way to my toes….and it wasn’t particularly comfortable.   I felt like a deer in the headlights as my turn quickly approached.

As each woman shared eloquently (or so I judged) her journey to get here, and what she hoped to uncover for herself, I felt like I was the lone ranger with all of this fear of not being able to speak within the circle.  As long as I was the facilitator or leader of a group I seemed to be quite fine thank you very much, but when put in the position of being a participant where I felt not in control of what would come out of my mouth – well it was pure terror!

Most of my life had been spent in a man’s world, literally!  Motherless since 14 with 4 brothers, a father to take care of me, 2 husbands and another long term partner, 3 sons and many years in the conventional medical world, I wasn’t really certain of how to be in the company of women let alone bring my authentic powerful voice to the forefront.  I had been too busy anticipating the needs of men and everyone else around me to trust what my own voice had to say.

Well here was my chance, in this circle of women bound together out of a desire to mine the depths of our individual and collective hearts, souls, and minds – and dance together with our bodies in uninhibited movement.

It was then my turn in the circle to share, and do you know what I did?  I passed!  Oh, yes a lesson learned a 1,000 times over that when you pass on bringing your voice, no matter what the circumstances, you not only miss out on finding out more about yourself,  but you also hold back your unique thoughts, feelings, and ideas that could empower or break open the woman sitting next to you, the woman across the circle from you, or the woman on the other side of the world!

Yes, I finally did dismantle the fear that was keeping me silent, and shared a couple of days later in my own timing. That seemed to part of my lesson as well these many years ago now.  Honoring when I was ready to bring my voice by loving myself in the moment of absolute terror, and then committing within myself to bring my voice before the week was out.  It was what happened between the terror and the bringing that was truly the heart of the healing for me.  I let go of being perfect and committed to bring the whole of me – no matter what.

The “no matter what” was important for me in this safe circle of women, for so like many women we seem to hold a deep cellular memory of having been somehow “punished” for bringing our voice, our talents, and our opinions to the table of the world at large.  I say, let’s create another cellular memory for the girls that follow behind us and for the women of today and yesterday.

What does happen between finding our voice and bringing it out into the world in all of our relationships and endeavors??

There is a video below that is powerfully short and to the point.  Chills swept my body as I realized that although I have brought my voice out into the community, in relationship, and out into the world I have reached a point in age when there is not as much time to bring that unique voice of mine as there was when I was 20, 30, 40 or even 50.

What is it that will encourage, support, and sometimes give us a little lovin push or shove, as the case may be, to find and bring our voice?  I say – each other!

We need all of us to break any silence we have kept for reasons only we know deep in our hearts…tell your story and impact the world, reclaim your voice when you have lost it, be fearless, listen to your inner voice and act accordingly, let go of being perfect, talk about what is important to you with other women and ask for help when needed, live your life in integrity and on your own terms, let go of trying to be everything to everybody….Be completely, transparently, and powerfully YOU!

 

 

 

 

P.S.  Couldn’t help but include this little video as a post script.  Just watched it and still have a smile on my face.  Talk about finding your voice.  It comes in many ways of expression!!  Enjoy!

 

 

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

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Celebrating Our Natural Beauty

More than 5 years ago now I attended a Global Healing conference in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.  The keynote speaker was Desmond Tutu (who made himself very available to us!) and there were 800 people attending from all over the world.  It was an incredibly powerful experience that transported me into a global citizen and expanded my awareness about life and my own contributions to the world.

After the conference I had created an additional 10 days to just be on my own and explore the amazing country and people of Bali.  There were many things about this culture and these people that captivated my heart and soul.  One of them was the natural beauty of the people, the country, and the way of life…and I am not talking external beauty only here.  There was an essence that was felt, a light reflection of what is real substance within each living thing….. A sacredness of whole being if you will.

It was here that I was able to find and celebrate my natural beauty,  throw away my self consciousness around how I looked on the outside, and luxuriate in all that is beautiful.  It was here that I fell in love with myself and had it reflected back to me over and over again…and yes, I did find myself in a tub with flower petals floating in the water just as in the picture above!

As I stepped into this new found natural being of beauty others were attracted and I found love shining back at me from every possible source.  The Balinese people know when a person is being authentic, and as I let go of inner constraint I was welcomed into families and villages, held Balinese children, sat with heads of villages to talk about meditation and the finer points of drinking milk straight from the coconut (oh, did I make a mess of things much to their enjoyment!), had intimate dinners with embraces and kisses in the moonlight by a lotus pond with an Australian participant of the conference, and was even invited onto the backs of motor scooters by locals to tour the island.

I found that natural beauty is something each and every one of us as women hold within, and that when we open to the giving and receiving of love with full and authentic expression and acceptance there is a radiance in our being that draws others in.

Below are 2 resources that I feel you will enjoy and appreciate.  Pass this on to women you know and let’s collaborate with each other to accept, express, and celebrate our natural beauty and full potential!

The NEW Beauty
“She said, “Jules, If I didn’t know you, I would hate you.”   This message was delivered to me, 24 years ago, at a critical and tender time in my life.  It reverberated endlessly, from my fragile ego, to the depths of my soul, and back around my hear…t.  This was a painful and difficult message for an approval-seeking young adult, who worked tirelessly to move beyond the “ugly and imperfect” obstacles from childhood adversities.  I replied, “Seriously?  You would HATE me?”   “Yes.  You are beautiful and successful.  You’re perfect!  You have it all.  If I didn’t know you, I would hate you!,” she repeated.  

Sadly, she really did not know me and all my insecurities.  Her words pierced my people-pleasing persona and shattered everything I believed to be true.  Beauty and success epitomized the cultural contract we were “supposed” to fulfill as super-women.  But nobody told me about the part that if, or when, you fulfill the contract, people would hate you. 

This was a bewildering, sick game: be beautiful, successful and hated, or imperfect, ordinary and never measure up.  The pathetic irony in the entire paradigm was I NEVER felt beautiful or successful to begin with and most of us NEVER did.  

In spite of the invasive and prominent media-defined images of beauty, women are waking up.  No longer will we sit by and watch our daughters be put in powerless, anorexic, heroin chic boxes, destined for plastic surgery.  Traditional notions of beauty are being shattered.  Women no longer want to have our appearance prescribed, nor do we believe it defines who we are.  We will not wear a mask that hides our identity and buy the right labels to make us feel worthy and complete. 

We are re-defining beauty and wearing it proudly as it emanates deep from within our true knowing.  As we discover the radiant light of elegance and grace that flows from our core, authentic self-expression is the new glamour.  We are birthing a fresh allure.  Our NEW beauty is raw, organic and deep.  It isn’t something that pleases the eye, but rather an essence that stirs and quickens the soul.  Have you re-defined beauty and embraced your mystique?  

Macduff Everton said, “There is a difference between pretty and beautiful.  Beauty can astonish us. Inspire us.  Make us dance.  Make us weep.  Beauty can be magical.  Beauty can transform us.  Beauty lets our soul sing.  Beauty can have such depth that you don’t even notice at first, or ever.”  Live your beauty!  Let it shine.  BE YOU, beautiful, and help usher in the NEW beauty. ”  Dr. Julie

See More
By: Dr. Julie on Your Beautiful Mindful Life

Take a look at the Beautiful Woman Project by Cheryl-Ann Webster

http://www.cawebster.com/art/bwp/

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

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The Gift of Acceptance

Sorenna Elizabeth

I have just come back from visiting two of my sons,  and playing joyously and full on with my 3 year old granddaughter Sorenna.  As she grows quickly I see the amazing girl she is, and forsee the powerful woman she will become.

I watch Sorenna and see how absolutely at home she is in her body, her mind, and her playful and creative spirit.  She is not afraid to be exactly who she is – in the moment.  She operates from a place of full self  acceptance.  I yearn to be like her….

I often wonder why women – including myself at times – are frequently so hard on ourselves.  By that I mean attempting to fit into a “square hole” of our cultures making with our rounded, and curvy bodies (even if you are thin you have curves!!),  hearts, and psyches.

This week I was blessed to view two videos – both of which are here for you – that speak to acceptance in all of its many forms.  Here are two stunning women bringing themselves out to millions of people.  They are stunning because they both have a track record of saying yes to putting themselves out their within their particular creative art form, and they keep showing up to do just that.

One is a musician who has written many powerful songs for women as she speaks of her own life experience through her music, and the other is a young woman that very early on found her love of poetry and theater arts could be put together – and oh what a perfect fit for her!

The first is India Arie singing Gift of Acceptance at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert with a global message for all of us.  We are in a time on our planet when we are realizing more deeply that what affects one of us affects all of us.  I say that acceptance of ourselves at deep levels of loving care allow us to accept others as we do ourselves.  Just what the world needs!

The second video is a brilliant TED2011 talk by Sarah Kay that inspired two standing ovations.   “Sarah tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. — and gives two breathtaking performances of “B” and “Hiroshima.”

To me this is not only especially inspiring for our girls and young women coming up….but also a reminder to us as mature women that with acceptance of all of who we are (warts, fears, wrinkles, sexual preferences, and all!), the best of our creative gifts are unearthed. It is within our uniqueness that our genius shines!

You will find it here:

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if_i_should_have_a_daughter.html

Will you be the next to step up “on stage”?  Dare ya!

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

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WOMAN TO WOMAN – SISTER TO SISTAH

Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living In better conditions. ~Hafiz

This post is important.  Important because women are being called to step up into their full expressions as the awakening on our planet spirals out globally, and as we build a new world with very different foundations.   We as women have an important purpose in all of this – to foster collaboration from the heart and soul; to speak out on behalf of the planet, our children, communities, and each other; and to express every bit of the creative genius that we are holding onto inside letting go of the fear that no one will recognize it for what it is – wisdom much needed right now!

Given all of this we cannot proceed, or pass GO as the game of monopoly states, until we heal the relationships with the women in our lives.  I believe that if we do not have closure or understanding with those that we have had challenges or break down of relationship  with, then we are bringing our wounds to the table, and not releasing those that have been close to us, and ourselves, into fullest expression.

As women we bond easily, fiercely, deeply, and often tenderly.  Relationships with other women are at the core of our thriving and full acceptance of ourselves.  Without healthy relationships with women we fall apart within and without.  Our culture, community, and world suffers…and so do we.

This week, as many of you know, there was a repairing of a relationship that took place

Iyanla Vanzant

between two very powerful women – Oprah Winfrey and Iyanla Vanzant. Feminine Power hosted that very same day a conversation with Iyanla on “Woman to Woman: How to Heal Our Relationship Breakdowns with Each Other”.

I bring you the link here to listen to the conversation as I feel that it is vitally important that we do this work with each other first!

Late in 2010 I lost a friend that was very dear to me.  She simply stopped communicating with me after 2 years of a meaningful friendship and many adventures.   At first I attempted to create story – in other words think of the ways in which I might had offended her, or figure out why she did not want to relate any longer.   I left phone messages, wrote e-mails and left a letter at her doorstep at Christmas time…but no response.

Then I realized that she was not going to respond, and that it was time to do my own internal healing around the loss, move out of any story, recognize that there was no longer a resonance which kept the relationship alive and growing, forgive myself and her, and let go.   There was of course sadness around the loss of the relationship…but what really hurt was that we could not come together, face our fears, and deeply listen to each other with an open heart and mind – either for closure, or for expansion of relationship with each other or with ourselves.

This is what Iyanla speaks to in the conversation on this link.  Take the time to listen in and reflect on whether there are any relationships with women in your life right now that require letting go of the fear that you carry and with courage (action taken from the heart) telling your truth.

Here is the link:  http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=17780457

“Woman to Woman: How to Heal Our Relationship Breakdowns with Each Other” with honored guest, Iyanla Vanzant

Welcome to the recording of our special Women on The Edge of Evolution event with Iyanla Vanzant, who shares the challenges, lessons and blessing of healing the relationship breakdowns with our sisters. Iyanla Vanzant is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. Her most recent book, Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through is a masterpiece of hard earned wisdom and a tribute to the resilience of the human heart.

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

JUST LAUNCHED!  www.DivineWealthJournal.com Recent Post: What Is Divine Wealth?

Recent Post: Dancing Breath Rap – Do It Now! www.BreathingSpaces.net

 

 

 

FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF DAY: A Prelude to Valentines Day

Sister, remember this:
:: you are completely and utterly loved.:: the intelligence that grows the leaves on the trees, is also moving you. Surrender.:: your body is a miracle. It breathes, it pumps, it digests and it moves. It is God in action. Just stop. Stop right now, being so violent towards it.:: the body is earth… awakeningwomen.com

Christine Arylo has declared 2/13 as International Falling In Love With Yourself Day.  What could be more appropriate than a focus on self love for women and girls the day before Valentines Day.

As each of us as women step up to the plate in our lives and bring courage, strength, wisdom, collaboration, listening, and our own uniquely wild creative expression and stories….. we become free.  In this stepping up however, we must embrace our wholeness, and love every single itty bitty part of ourselves – even those parts that we would rather hide under the rug or in the bushes some place! Not always easy…

So girlfriends come out and play today – and everyday that you possibly can!  Here is a video that reminds us why we are being called to action on the global, national, and community fronts of our lives.  It is when we say YES! to our unique dance in life, and fall in love with ourselves, that we are able to inspire other women to do the same while living our lives FREE.

This is ALWAYS an inside job.  When done with dedication and commitment you light up the world!  Join the Tribe.

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